NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted August 26, 2013
On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
Anthony Boone, appellant pro se.
John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Lewis A. Scheindlin, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Shirley P. Dickstein, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).
Before Judges Alvarez and Maven.
Anthony Boone (Boone) is an inmate currently confined in Northern State Prison. He appeals from the October 14, 2011 final decision of the Department of Corrections (DOC) imposing disciplinary sanctions upon him for committing prohibited act .256 (refusing an order by any staff member), in violation of N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a). We affirm.
The following facts are pertinent to our decision. On September 20, 2011, Boone was transferred to East Jersey State Prison (EJSP). Upon entering 3-Wing of EJSP, Senior Corrections Officer M. Natale (Natale) ordered Boone several times to "lock in." Boone refused, and stated, "I will not lock with a Homo." Natale then notified Sergeant Lancaster to report to 3-Wing and Boone was escorted out of the unit.
On September 21, 2011, Boone received notice of the .256 charge. That same day, the DOC conducted an investigation during which Boone requested a counsel substitute. Boone neither made a statement nor named any witnesses. Boone submitted a request for information and documentation.
A disciplinary hearing was originally scheduled for September 23, 2011, but was postponed twice to accommodate Boone's information request and scheduled court appearances. Hearing Officer Nolley (Nolley) conducted the hearing on October 14, 2011. Boone pled not guilty.
Boone and his counsel substitute attended the hearing during which he withdrew his request to confront Natale. Boone testified that being placed with a homosexual inmate was against his religious beliefs, and alleged that "the Imam [doesn't] want to submit a statement because he [doesn't] want to make a statement against the other guy." Boone's counsel substitute argued that the "lock in" order was unreasonable, that the prison should have considered Boone's objection before placing him in the cell with the other inmate, and that Boone "was trying to avoid a situation."
Following the hearing, Nolley considered several documents and physical evidence, including statements made by prison officers and Boone, and Boone's information request. Nolley showed Boone and his counsel substitute an adjudication report and the evidence he considered. The counsel substitute signed line sixteen of the adjudication report, indicating that the information accurately reflected what had occurred at the adjudication hearing.
Relying on the prison officers' reports, Nolley found Boone guilty of charge .256 and imposed ten days of detention, ninety days of administrative segregation, and fifteen days loss of recreational privileges. Boone filed an administrative appeal. On October 17, ...